Australia – Australian firm Austpac Resources has secured a multi-million-dollar investment from Kronos International to globalise its technology for recovering iron from steelmaking effluent.
Kronos will build a US$ 12.5 million iron recovery plant at Australia’s Kooragang Island. The US company’s commitment includes funding and commissioning of the plant that will produce up to 18 000 tonnes of iron a year when it reaches full capacity some time in 2012.
The plant will recycle mill scale and pickle liquor from steelworks in eastern Australia. Austpac has the contract to handle all the effluent produced by Mayfield steel manufacturer OneSteel. ‘It is hard to find risk capital for a project like this and it just happened that Kronos needed this type of technology,’ notes Austpac Resources’ Managing Director Mike Turbott. The Kronos investment comprises shares and a technology licence; the company now becomes Austpac’s largest shareholder with 7%, ahead of BHP Billiton on 5%.
Austpac is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and Mr Turbott believes this move will provide a springboard to launch its technology into worldwide environmental clean-ups of old steel mills. Kronos, meanwhile, is a major titanium dioxide producer with plants in the USA, Canada, Germany, Norway and Belgium.